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(Hotel) Bar None

This month I have the distinct pleasure of getting to travel for work.  I am calling these little trips work-cations.  You know, like a vacation, but I have to work.  But I am still getting to go somewhere, so still kind of vacation.  Which I think we will all agree I desperately need.  And deserve.  So I get to stay in 2 hotels.  A “boutique” hotel in Phoenix and a luxury resort in Florida.  Obviously I am a little more excited about the resort.  It looks incredible.  Really incredible.  Like, live alligators in the atrium and a bar that is a full size sailboat incredible.  Check it out:

I love to stay in hotels.  I just adore it.  I love opening the door to an empty room and relishing the silence that reigns for the moment before I crash into it with my giant suitcase and 2 carry-on items.  I love to poke around and see what kind of lotions and soaps have been left for me, where the iron (not that I am going to use it) is and find the remote control.   I always look to see what kind of coathangers are provided — I think it gives you a clue to the clientele they have.  Hangers that can’t be taken off the rod?  A lesser clientele than somewhere with actual hangers they trust the guest not to steal.  I love opening the curtains and seeing what my view will be. I love knowing my room with be sparkling (ok, maybe not sparkling) clean when I return from my day of work/adventure  and I love wandering the streets of a new place, trying to find the perfect souvenir, the perfect photo and the perfect margarita.  Bonus if I find a new pair of heels I can’t live without — yes, I buy shoes as souvenirs.  It’s not weird.  It’s useful. 

Obviously, I stayed in a hotel recently.  The beds were lovely and soft with pretty decent sheets.  The air conditioner worked well, but not so well that you froze in the middle of the night and woke up sweating the next morning.  It had a nice shower with a fancy shower head with great water pressure.  (The water tasted TERRIBLE, but I blame Phoenix, not the hotel.)  It was close to work and had free internet.  It was also close to some really yummy places to eat.  It was in a good part of town and I had a great run on the streets of Phoenix while I was there.  It was close to a 7-11 where we bought water every night so we could brush our teeth in the morning (the water really was that bad) and only about 20 minutes from IKEA.  But that is another blog post. 

But oh, the Hotel Bar.  When we looked at the hotel on-line, my co-worker and I saw they had a happy hour … woo hoo!  Half price drinks on the company … that’s our kind of place!  So we check in and find our way to the bar, ready for an after work cocktail.  Imagine our surprise when “drinks” turned out to be beer and bad wine.  Obviously, we selected beer.  The selection was mediocre, but they had Blue Moon, so we were satisfied.  Well, kind of.  They didn’t have glasses for the beer so we had to swig it out of bottles.  Fortunately we are those girls that drink with the boys so this did not faze us. 

So there we were, happily chatting away, making fun of the US Airways pilots that checked into the hotel before us; admittedly lamenting the fact that they were the frumpy US Airways pilots, not the cute Southwest pilots; when we hear from behind, “Hey ladies, can we join the party?” Did I mention we were literally the only people in the bar?  Even the bartender had temporarily abandoned his post. 

Yep.  The US Airways pilots.  In all their Bermuda shorts, bad button down shirts, balding, puffy faced glory.  They confidently strode in and took up residence next to us — with not even a bar stool between us.  You could tell this was not their first Hotel Bar.  They were obviously skilled in the art. 

We smiled politely, ducked our heads and kept our focus on our beers.  We tried to have a conversation, but the pilots sat next to us and proceeded to discus, in detail, how all of their friends were either maimed or killed in horrible plane crashes (commercial and private, just in case you were wondering).  We heard about the friend that lost both his legs, the dismemberment of upper bodies and removal of arms.  We heard of decapitations and death by being cut in two.  We finally decided the best we could do was to laugh at our predicament.  So we did. 

Well, the laughter caught the attention of our barmates.  Which led to a VERY uncomfortable conversation about Albuquerque and how they had flown through a few times.  Which inevitably led to the conversation about Balloon Fiesta.  And them lauding us with tales of flying in and out of our fair city during the event and how it related to other tales of carnage they had heard.  I mentally told my friend NOT to mention the fact that I am a balloon pilot while mentally banging my head on the bar.

After the most uncomfortable 10 minutes in our Hotel Bar careers, our other co-workers arrived and rescued us.  More beer, a football game and some DELICIOUS Cajun food later, we swore we would not return to the Hotel Bar.

Instead we just got wine and drank in our room like civilized people.

The BEST holidays

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